New and Loving you all.. asking for help 18 runaway daughter..

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Rhonda, Jan 27, 2009.

  1. Rhonda

    Rhonda slightly wilted Magnolia

    I am reading all the posts and crying... finally ... people who have all been there..

    My difficult child 18 daughter was never a problem.. she was awesome until she turned 15 and started doing poorly in the public school system. Up until then she has been in private school, played soccer, rode competetively. She was diagnosed severly ADD/ADHD, but she refused to take her medicine. By 16 she had been on multiple drugs, lost her virginity, and lied constantly. Long story short, she started getting it together got on ADD medication's and was making all, A's, the school had a drug sniff and found marijuana "residue" in her car, she was expelled for a year. Good old zero tolerenance....

    I spent 26,000 to have her finish 11th grade after she went into a deep depression, ran away from home, was beat up by a controlling guy friend (not boyfreind). I with the help of the police found her and brought her home and put her in a closed school system 9-2pm that had therapy daily. She was diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, Depression, Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) with tendancies toward Borderline (BPD). They recommended her going on to a Therapeutic Boarding School.. Instead I sent her to Anasazi, a 6 week camp in Mesa AZ, another 24,000... there went all of my savings. She came out a changed person, for a while, that is until her first failure.

    I moved from MS to CA to "change" her setting and give her a fresh start. She was great, she begged to go back to private school, so I borrowed 12,000 and put her in for her senior year. Her first indiscretion (sneaking in a bottle of alcohol to the dance) got her a 3 day suspension and boom... she quit school, she was a failure!!..omg...I tried to make her go back (her 18th b-day was less than 30 days away) and so she ran away. After she ran away twice, I packed her bags the third time and left them outside. She lost all her "good" friends who begged her to stay in school and come home. She stole from the people she was staying with and got caught with crack. She has an oustanding ticket for underaged smoking that she has still not shown up for court for (2 court dates missed). She came home the week before her 18th birthday and then 4 days after she turned 18 she sent me a text saying she was on an airplane back to MS.

    That was Nov 2 2008. I have not seen her since. We talk occasionally. She has lived in so many places since then that I could not count them all. From one friend to another, from one boyfriend to another. She lived with a guy that had a meth lab in a back room and he hung her from a tree out back. She would be dead if someone had not driven by and seen it happening and stopped and cut her down. Then she started living with a 35 year old man who has been in the peniteniary for 10 years and was recently released. She was with him 3 weeks until she showed up at my best friends house beat up and no where to go. That was two weeks ago. She is now living with other friends and has a new boyfriend who is a schizophrenic who goes to treatment. - oh also during this time she was going out to visit her grandparents (my parents), we thought this was good until she stole all of the money out of my fathers wallet one morning before she left $305.00. He had to threaten to put her in jail before she gave it back. She never apologized, and has not tried to repair the relationship. She says he told her not to come back with her facial peircings in and she says she got angry about that because it would be weeks before they could be removed (they were new) so she took the money. She says she is sorry and wants to call him but says she is not sure she can make herself.

    NOTE! in all this time she has never asked for help or to come home. I have not tried to rescue her, I havae offered her the opportunity to come home but she always says she is happy with her choices and would not change them. When I went to MS at Christmas she would not see me at all (later she told me she had been beat up by the meth lab guy and did not want her family to see her like that)

    DELIMA! she just called and asked if I would pay for her a bus ticket back out here to CA. And she wants her and her new boyfriend and her puppy to come live with me and my SO (military no children). They want to stay with us until they have enough money to get out on their own.

    I was shocked. No words like.. "i am sorry, for what i have put you through".. "please help me, i want to change my life".. just "when can you buy me a ticket?"

    I want her to change her life so much, she is so young and I am just not sure if I should help at all. I no longer have the financial means to help very much due to all of the rescueing, before she turned 18. I don’t know where I am going with my SO at this time. He is my best friend, but I am not sure we were meant to be partners in life, but that is another issue!

    I don’t want to rescue but I don’t want to turn my back on her. I welcome all of the wisdom that all of you have to offer and I feel your pain. I have almost lost my mental health with all of the self blame and "fixing" I have tried to do for the last 3 years. I have also learned a lot. I still dont know what I am going to do with my life but I am not going to spend it fixing hers. But I am a Mom and want to help if I can as long as it is not at my own expense (mentally). I can afford to bus her out here.. I just dont know if I should. Part of me wants to bless her out and leave her to her bad choices, the other part just wants to hold her and tell her I love her and see her again and make everything better, like Moms do!

    I have read this story over and over out here.. but I want my ending to be different...somehow.... and the truth is, it terrifies me to think of her coming out here... I have daymares about how bad it could be!

    Will that sweet girl I raised who was going to college to be a doctor, and who had 3 scholarships in soccer, ever come back?...

    I read what STAR wrote about being too detached... and everything she says is how I feel.. thanks .. it made me know I am not alone...

    Rhonda - a disaster in the making???
  2. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Holy Moses, Rhonda. Welcome to the family- we are making room at the table for you.

    I have to ask what happened when your daughter was 15 that changed her behavior so dramatically? Did she change from private to public school? Anything at home? Divorce? Did puberty kick in full gauge that year? From your description she sounds like she might have become very, very ANGRY that year to precipitate such huge changes.

    As for what to do now.......well, I'm one of the hard noses in this forum. For me, she would have to prove her sincerity first, before I would even consider her coming home. And there is no way I'd allow her boyfriend and puppy (the pup will become yours the first time she runs off again, you know that, don't you?) to move in, too.

    in my humble opinion, she is looking for another "save." The fact that she hasn't apologized to anyone or tried to make amends speaks volumes...

  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'd let her come home, but not the boyfriend. Maybe the puppy ;) BUT...she would come home alone and on the condition that she go into treatment first and stay clean and sober and get a job. There is no way in hello I would let her come home with the boyfriend, or without the understanding that she would be coming home to get help and I'd expect her to do it or she'd be gone again. She can do just as many dangerous things in your house as she is doing out of the house and she won't turn her life around by keeping bad company and not having to follow strict rules. in my opinion her boyfriend will just make her continue down her path, which she may not be ready to give up anyway. That has to be her decision, young or not. Nobody can do it for her. Been there/tried it all. My daughter quit when she was good and ready and not a day before that. But I wouldn't help her degenerate by making it easy for her to snort or shoot up. You may want to join Narc-Anon. They are WONDERFUL!
    I'm sorry you're going through this. It's so hard, I know.
  4. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I just want to welcome you. My experiences do not coincide with yours so I'm offering no advice. Each of us has to make our own choices and learn to live with them. It sounds to me like the choices you made in the past are probably what I would have opted to do. Now?? I honestly can't
    say....although I might be temped to ask if she and boyfriend plan to get jobs asap to repay the expenditure. No matter what you choose to do, I'm glad you found us. We all care and are ready to listen any time. DDD
  5. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Rhonda!
  6. C.J.

    C.J. New Member


    Welcome. You are among friends.

    I have a few rules for my household when dealing with those who have chronic addiction or drug and alcohol abuse problems.

    1. Nobody enters my home under the influence. Period. I'm done cleaning up afterwords.
    2. In order to enter my home, you are clean, sober, and working on a long term plan to stay that way. AA/NA, treatment program required.
    3. I don't support boyfriends, girlfriends, puppies, kittens, hamsters, fish - you get the picture.
    4. Able bodied adults in my home contribute to my home - financially and physically. If the finances are low, the physical contribution is extreme.
    5. If the able bodied adult who is a guest in my home doesn't like something about me, my home, my rules, my standards, my morals, that same able bodied adult is free to leave.

    Does you SO have a say in whether or not she comes back? If he opposes it, perhaps you pay the bus fare for her when she has lined up a treatment facility...

    I know your pain, suffering, hope and love.
  7. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I really like what CJ has said. Ground rules would have to be established. I would not support a boyfriend and would make that clear up front. I would encourage her to see a physician and therapist if she were to return home and be willing to pay for this type of help. If she has any drug or alcohol problems, she would have to go to NA or AA. If she is unable to follow the rules, you would need to be prepared emotionally to have her move to another location. In addition, you would to get your own personal support either through your own therapist or perhaps through a group like Families Anonymous. I would be willing to give your child a little extra help until the maximum of age of 21. However, she should follow your rules and meet you half way. She should be willing to work and contribute to the home if she is living there. Even if it is minimal; something should be contributed. She should do whatever she is able to personally do whenever and wherever possible. I would hope for the best, but understand that it might not go the way you wish. Continue to offer her opportunities for mental health care. Be prepared to detach, if needed.
    Lasted edited by : Jan 27, 2009
  8. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    Hello and welcome. You have gotten much good advice already. At this time I do not have anything to add except that if you decide to pay for her fare to get home send her the ticket not the money. -RM
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Welcome Rhonda. :)


    I have to say up front, one Mom to another, you have to do what you can live with peacefully. If bringing her there for one more chance, knowing that it could be just as bad, if not worse than you've already been though, is something you need to do to have piece of mind........Then I'm not the person who will tell you not to. I will tell you to sit down and really think it over before doing it. All the pros and especially the cons. Force yourself to be realistic about the situation. Set ground rules you know you can follow thru with. And then plan for the worst while hoping and praying for the best.

    If it were my child........Wow. No. Probably not. One because not a single "I'm sorry" has passed her lips, not even one that isn't genuine. Big red flag that someone is most likely not going to change. And 2 most definately not the boyfriend. He is not your child and you have no responsibility for him what so ever. You don't need 2 difficult children for the price of one. OMG:faint: Double trouble.

    You can't fix her issues. She has to want it and be willing to do the work to make that happen. You can't even help her until she's ready to help herself.

    Which is why it has to be a decision YOU can live with, either way you decide to jump.

  10. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    Hello Rhonda, and welcome. Sorry you had to find us, but glad you did!

    You've received a lot of excellent advice; I guess from my own experience so far I would just say that, while you do need to do what will give you peace of mind, I second the others in suggesting that you think very carefully about this request and make sure that you and your SO are on the same page with it. A request for bus fare and housing/meals that includes her boyfriend doesn't sound like a commitment to change course, more like a wish for a place to run to. With no acknowledgment on her part of what she's done to your family so far, that isn't going to be part of her attitude once she arrives. Someone with Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) is focused on 'what will be good for ME?' and won't likely even register that his/her actions affect others negatively.

    You've done a great deal for her, tried for several years to help her, and I guess the question is what you feel agreeing to this request would do - for you or for her. If you decide to agree, I would suggest support counseling for you via Al-Anon or a family therapist; strict house rules as others have outlined; no boyfriend in the deal; and a plan, and timeline, for her to actually get out on her own. I suspect that if this is the deal she may decide against it but that would be her decision.
  11. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    Wheeew!!! Hello and welcome. I am so sorry you have gone through this hell!!! I can relate to some of what you are dealing with. My daughter is similar in that she has no remorse she just keeps wanting more. She also has been on the run, beat up, drugs, crime, violence in the home and so on. I, like you have done everything humanly possible to save her from herself. All to no avail. She is in the county jail right now for stealing my debit card. It has been hell here for the past five years. I too will be faced with the same dilemma. If the court doesn't place her then I will be forced to make the decision to let her come home or put her on the streets. I have come a long way, I am detaching a bit more everyday. I do not want her to live here anymore, but am afraid of what will happen to her out there on the streets.

    I like what MidwestMom and C.J. said. There would be no chance that I would allow my daughter to bring anyone home to live, especially a boyfriend!!! I have learned a lot from this site and the one thing that is now embedded in my brain is that WE cannot change our children no matter what we do. They make choices. They must live with the consequences of their choices. As hard as it is to do, we at some point must cut the cord and let them fall so they learn how to pick themselves back up!!! I only hope that I will be strong enough to put that into motion when needed. I might allow my daughter back in my house with all of the stipulations that C.J. mentioned. Believe me I know how hard this is.

    You are a good mother and you clearly have done all you can for your daughter. Her life will only change if and when she wants it to.

    (((HUGS))) God bless. Keep us posted. :)
    Lasted edited by : Jan 28, 2009
  12. catwoman

    catwoman New Member

    Welcome, as we say in AA, "Keep coming back, it works if you work it!" You'll find strength here.
  13. Rhonda

    Rhonda slightly wilted Magnolia

    Thank you all so very much for taking the time to read and respond. I have been reading every post over and over. You all are saying the things I have ben feeling (not always so clearly).

    To answer a couple of questions about her big change... My PTSD husband of 9 years who I still love had made some bad business choices and we lost everything. I did what I could to save our home but he was never the same. We moved from NC to MS where my parents were to help them out and to give my husband a new life and hopefully bring him out of his depression. This was the first time my daughter had been to public school but she truly loved it.

    I do not know what happened over the first year and a half but while I started my business and worked the snack stand at soccer games, my husband never got a job and became abusive and I put my foot down and made him leave. We divorced and now he is getting the help he needs. My daughter told me she heard our fights and that he was doing drugs while I was at work. She says that she brought them to him.. I just dont know. She has lied so much over the last three years that I did not know what to believe and none of the therapists could ever get enough out of her to be certain of anything either. But we had been in MS for almost a year when she started getting defiant. She does not slam doors or talk back, she just says nothing or lies and does what she wants to. Sometimes she tells me things that I really wish I did not know, maybe to hurt me, maybe her disability talking.

    The last three years has been harder than anything I thought I would ever go through. I can honestly say that being a mother and wife were the most important jobs I ever had and I treated them that way. I gave all of myself to them. I now think that the women who keep their own identity are the really smart ones. I was just such a strong person and had such a strong identity that I never gave a thought to losing it... and I almost did..

    My daughter wrote me a letter before she left and it is so sad that I can hardly read it. But in a nut shell she states that she knows everything is her fault and that she has put so many walls up that she does not feel anymore. She said she was running away because she could not look in my face knowing that if I knew the truth about her and the things she has done, that all whe would see is disapointment and more heartbreak. She said she was leaving to spare me dealing with her anymore. And she told me how much she loves me.

    So yes... this is so very hard because I know that the letter was truth.. The life she is living is to punish herself for failing. I will take your advice.. I do think that only allowing her to come back if she will go to treatment is excellent advice. I had decided not to let the boyfriend come already, and I am an animal lover so I just think I will let her know that if she is gone more than 48 hours I will turn the dog in as abandoned.

    I suspect like "bran155" there will come a time that I will be picking her up from the jail and having to decide what to do with her. I have seriously considered having her comitted for her own safety... life really takes bad turns and we just have to learn to drive differently.. hope the road straightens out some day...

    Thanks again and I will keep you all posted! Hey and the first 15 years were incredibly awsome, I try to be thankful for that.

  14. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    Oh Rhonda, I am so sorry for your heartbreak. Your love for your daughter comes through so loudly in your words. I know that you are hurting and there is not much we can do to change that for you. It does get easier with time. You sort of get used to it. I thought I would never again see the sun. I was just too heartbroken and like you had given so much of myself, I lost my identity. I am slowly building myself back up. Detaching is so important, it will happen naturally for you. After a while we just can't take anymore!!!

    Come here as often as you need. This place is amazing. I credit the wonderful people here for my strength.

    (((HUGS))) Shawna :)